Tell me about the most challenging experience you've had as a teacher.
Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Social Studies Teacher interview
As a social studies teacher, you will always have a challenging student, or four, in your classroom! The interviewer wants to be assured that you can handle these circumstances with grace and professionalism.
Sometimes all you can do is be supportive by spending time with struggling students, teaching them about time management, and encouraging them to seek extra help on their own. You may have had a challenging student who was disruptive in class. How you handle these types of difficulties tells the interviewer that you have the skills to deal with challenging students and that you will be equipped to handle them in the future.
Basic answer example
"I had a student with a mild learning disability. There were several areas where he was struggling that made it difficult for him to master the material for the class. I wanted him to do well in my class and his high school career, so I did what I could to support him by communicating with the reading teacher and some other teachers to give him a better support system."
Entry Level answer example
"While completing my practicum, I worked as a teachers' aide for a Grade 8 classroom. The neighborhood where the school was located had a diverse demographic. This was a challenge for me because some students were rougher around the edges than I was accustomed to. I overcame this challenge by getting to know the students on a more personal level. The trust relationship we developed over 12 weeks was incredible."
Experienced answer example
"I have had many challenging experiences over my eight-year teaching career. The most challenging experience I have had came during my time as a substitute teacher. Being a substitute is very challenging because you don't necessarily have a connection with the students yet you need them to be engaged in the classroom. I overcame this by spending the first 10 minutes of each class getting to know my students with a quick exercise. I would also let them ask a few questions about me. It helped a great deal during my challenging times as a substitute teacher."